‘’We are Partners in Progress, not Slaves to Government’’; Business Community Frowns at LRA digital Policy

By G Bennie Bravo Johnson

Members of the business community of Liberia, particularly, Mr. Dominic Nimely, President of the Patriotic Entrepreneur of Liberia and Mr. Mohammed Majah Barry, President of the Fulah Business Association of Liberia, have expressed serious opposing views to the digital and electronic policy introduced by the Liberia Revenue Authority, aimed at promoting effective outcomes within the business sectors of Liberia, through information Technology.

Speaking in a press conference Tuesday, March 1, 2022, Mr. Nimely said that the digital electronics they seek to roll out to the integrated financial management system is intended to drive business people from doing business in the country, adding that the policy is very bad for Liberia, which lacks stable electricity.

He asserted that the new policy brought into being by the LRA is demanding that they purchase computers from the LRA which have systems installed on them to help promote revenue generation for government. He alleged that  LRA is now selling computers to them for USD$ 700,400,350.

The program and policy was brought by the LRA without informing stakeholders.

‘’we are asking the government of Liberia, through the LRA, to not impose policy or law on us, because we are stakeholders and we need to make sure that our views are respected.

The same policy they are fighting to implement in Liberia was tested in Sierra Leone, but it did not materialize because things were unstable in the country. The same is true in the case of Liberia.

Former Sierra Leone President Ernest Bah Kromah struggled with such, until his business people left the country, which is the same we forsee happening in Liberia,’’ Mr. Nimely explained.

He said the government should understand that “the business community is not slave to government but a partner in progress.” Without the business community the government cannot be successful, and likewise the business community urged that they should work together with understanding and respect for each other.
He described the entire situation as a front to the business community. Mr. Nimely asserted that the action by LRA shows that they do not regard the business community in any decision making process and policy, while both parties should work as partners to bring success to government..

‘’We are advising them to study this policy and stop imposing it on us because this policy will cause Liberia to close and leave us to do business in other areas. We are willing to have our people educated, but this is not the time to do so. We are bringing in investors and as we are doing that let the government not make the little investor to leave.”

Meanwhile, given the background of the policy and meeting with the LRA, the President of the Fulah Business Association of Liberia, Mr. Mohammed Barrey said they only received communication from LRA to the Liberia Business Association, and the Liberia Chamber of commerce informing them about a meeting with the LRA concerning the policy.
Noting that during the meeting, LRA explained to them about the policy and they did not accept their request because of the listed factor and the meeting ended in confusion without a comprehensive understanding. The LRA promised to called them back to conclude.

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